How long do garlic cloves last? (+7 Ways to store)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long do garlic cloves last?”, and how to tell If the garlic has gone bad?

How long do garlic cloves last?

An unpeeled clove of garlic will easily last 3 weeks If stored correctly. Peeled cloves stored in the fridge will keep fresh for a week. Once the husk is off the clove, the quality will degrade quickly.

On the counterIn the fridge
Whole garlic3-6 months
Peeled garlicNot recommended6-9 days
Chopped garlicNot recommended1 week

How to tell If garlic has gone bad?


The presence of green, black or brown spots are a sure sign of spoilage. Bad garlic will turn more yellow than white and form sprouts. Sprouted garlic remains safe to eat but the sprouts have a bitter taste. Remove them before adding them to your recipe.


If the garlic cloves or bulb start to give off a sour smell instead of a pungent garlicky smell, toss it in the bin.


Garlic should feel form when you touch it. If It develops a soft or mushy texture, It belongs in the bin.

Other FAQs about Garlic which you may be interested in.

Can you get sick from eating expired garlic?

How much is minced garlic?

How many tablespoons is 1 clove of garlic?

How to store garlic?

When at the store, always look for fresh, plumpy, and undamaged garlic bulbs. If the garlic has soft or mushy spots or is sprouting, do not buy it as it will not keep for longer. There are some general guidelines to follow to keep garlic for longer.

  • Keep the garlic in an airy environment. You can store the bulbs in a mesh bag or basket in your pantry.
  • Keep the garlic away from moisture and sunlight or heat.
  • Once you have removed the husk of the cloves, try to use them as soon as possible. Because the husk is what keeps the garlic from losing moisture.

At room temperature

While garlic can be stored at room temperature at 60-65°F and at a moderate level of humidity. A too dry environment will suck the moisture out of the garlic depriving it of its flavor. You can use the dry cloves in vegetable stock.

In the fridge

The refrigeration environment makes the garlic susceptible to mold growth, spoilage and makes it sprout early due to the humid surroundings. Refrigerating minced garlic kept in oil or vinegar is a good choice. Bury the sprouted garlic in fertile soil and use the garlic greens in your recipes for mild garlicky flavor.

In the freezer

Freezing garlic changes the texture and flavor but it is not a bad choice if you have garlic in bulk or you do not use garlic frequently. There are two ways to freeze store garlic.

  • Peel the cloves and toss them in a freezer bag. Squeeze out the air from the bag before freezing.
  • The second method is to freeze chopped garlic. You can keep the minced garlic or garlic paste(blended with some water) in the ice cube tray. 

In the dehydrator

Dried garlic lasts longer than fresh garlic. Store dried garlic as is in an air-tight container or blend to make powder. You can dry the garlic cloves in two ways.

  • Cut the peeled cloves into thin slices. Spread the slices evenly in a food dehydrator. Remove when the cloves are crisp. 
  • If you do not have a food dehydrator, dry the sliced garlic cloves in the oven maintained at a temperature of 115°F. Keep an eye on the garlic, it should not burn. Remove from the oven when crisp. 


Grease a baking tray or a casserole dish with some oil. Spread the whole garlic in the dish and bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes. Remove the peel and store the paste in the freezer for up to a week. Roasted garlic has a mild roasted flavor and is very easy to scoop out due to the added oil.

In vinegar(pickling)

Store the peeled garlic cloves in vinegar or wine. Add salt and herbs for extra flavor. Herbs like red pepper flakes, oregano, rosemary, or bay leaves can be added. You can use either dry red or white wine, or white or white wine vinegar.

In flavored oil

Dried garlic cloves can be preserved by immersing them in flavored oil like olive oil. Using fresh garlic clove in the oil will increase the chances of botulism. 

You can keep the minced or chopped garlic in oil in the fridge. Consume this mixture within weeks. Toss in the bin if mold sign or odd smell appears. 

Alternatively, garlic paste in oil can also be frozen to reduce the risk of Botulism.


In this article, we answered the question “How long do garlic cloves last?”, and how to tell If the garlic has gone bad?